We are committed to providing excellent City services that enhance the quality of life for the Lawrence Community


The City of Lawrence—supporting an unmistakably vibrant community with innovative, equitable, transparent and responsible local government.

Organizational Values

  • Character
  • Competence
  • Courage
  • Collaboration
  • Commitment

Critical Success Factors (CSF)

During the strategic planning process the City Commission developed seven (7) Critical Success Factors. These are the elements that must go right for the community to be successful. The factors are listed below with a brief definition. 

  • Effective Governance and Professional Administration
    • The City effectively and collaboratively plans and prioritizes in a transparent manner to efficiently move the community forward. We clearly communicate, and boldly and professionally implement using sound leadership and relevant best practices. 
  • Safe, Healthy and Welcoming Neighborhoods
    • All people in Lawrence live in neighborhoods that provide opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle through good neighborhood design with access to safe and affordable housing and other services that help them meet their basic needs. The diverse and unique features of our neighborhoods are celebrated, creating a stronger community as a whole.
  • Innovative Infrastructure and Asset Management 
    • The City of Lawrence has well-maintained, functional and efficient infrastructure, facilities and assets, and supports accessible, sustainable transportation options. We are innovative and forward thinking to meet community needs while preserving our natural and historic resources. 
  • Commitment to Core Services
    • Core municipal services reflect legal mandates and the City’s commitment to meet health, safety and welfare needs and maintain assets while adapting service levels to meet evolving community expectations. 
  • Sound Fiscal Stewardship
    • The City provides easy access to relevant, accurate data for budgeting and decision making. Decisions are made by prioritizing across all government services considering needs, balanced with available resources, using fiscal policies based on industry best practice to ensure decisions reflect the current and long term impact. 
  • Collaborative Solutions
    • The City of Lawrence actively seeks opportunities to leverage partnerships in order to enhance service delivery and quality of life in the most fiscally sound and responsible manner. 
  • Economic Growth and Security
    • The City of Lawrence fosters an environment that provides both individuals and businesses the opportunity for economic security and empowers people’s ability to thrive. Our community succeeds because of individual prosperity and a vibrant, sustainable local economy.

Priority Initiatives

Every two years the City Commission will identify priority initiatives that they have identified as being important within one of the Critical Success Factors. The current priority initiatives are listed below. The dashboard below shows the status of each critical success factor and each priority initiative. To view the status of each priority initiative, please click the priority initiative below.

  • Inventory and evaluate the role of existing advisory boards and commissions, identify opportunities to consolidate or sunset as appropriate, and adopt consistent operating guidelines
    Advisory Board Dashboard
  • Review City’s practices for ongoing professional development and align efforts to achieve excellence around the Commission’s priorities
    Professional Development Dashboard
  • Identify barriers to having high-speed fiber throughout Lawrence and facilitate the development of the necessary infrastructure by the private structure
    High-speed Fiber Dashboard
  • Review 9th street plans and develop a proposal to complete the road infrastructure and determine ability to add creative and artistic elements
    9th Street Dashboard
  • Develop a City facility master plan and comprehensive facility maintenance plan
    Facilities Master Plan Dashboard
  • Develop a plan to implement priority based budgeting and enhance communication in the annual budget process
    Budget Process Dashboard
  • Develop and communicate a long-term financial strategy
    Long-term Financial Strategy Dashboard
  • Develop a master plan for Downtown that includes needed and desirable assets, infrastructure, and uses
    Master Plan Page | Master Plan Dashboard

Strategic Plan Dashboard

Staff will bring forward progress reports every four (4) months to update the City Commission on both the Critical Success Factors as well as the Priority Initiatives. Prior to each progress report, each performance indicator and priority initiative will be updated. Here is the first progress report.


Frequently Asked Questions

A Strategic Plan is a document that outlines a systematic process for moving toward a vision in a manner that involves the development and prioritization of strategic goals along with measurable strategies and objectives.
The need for a strategic plan was identified by the City Commission as a priority during the hiring process of the City Manager in early 2016. A consultant was brought in to help facilitate the creation of a strategic plan.

The Novak Consulting Group met with staff and elected officials individually and through multiple retreat dates. They also facilitated public input sessions to discuss the framework. Through this process, the Strategic Plan, with seven (7) critical success factors and eight (8) priority initiatives, was developed.

The City Commission adopted the Strategic Plan and priority initiatives on March 7, 2017.

The city regularly uses planning tools like the Comprehensive Plan to guide the city’s growth in housing, transportation and land use. A Strategic Plan, when combined with other planning documents and community feedback, sets a clear path for moving a community forward.

The Strategic Plan drives budget discussions each year and ensure that projects, programs and services are aligned with the Plan’s goals and outcomes. Additionally, a comprehensive set of performance measures have been developed which ensures public funds are being used to meet community goals and priorities.

The seven (7) critical success factors serve as a guidepost for City staff. These are the areas that the City will focus on to achieve the following vision for Lawrence:

The City of Lawrence—supporting an unmistakably vibrant community with innovative, equitable, transparent and responsible local government.

The seven Critical Success Factors are:

  1. Effective Governance and Professional Administration
  2. Safe, Healthy & Welcoming Neighborhoods
  3. Innovative Infrastructure & Asset Management
  4. Commitment to Core Services
  5. Sound Fiscal Stewardship
  6. Collaborative Solutions
  7. Economic Growth & Security
At the final retreat, the City Commission came up with numerous initiatives, or projects, that they wanted to see implemented over the next two years. After much discussion and a selection process, eight (8) initiatives were chosen.

  1. Inventory and evaluate the role of existing advisory boards and commissions and identify opportunities to consolidate or sunset as appropriate.
  2. Review the city’s processes for ongoing professional development and align efforts to achieve excellence amid the commission’s priorities.
  3. Identify barriers to having high-speed fiber throughout Lawrence and facilitate development of the necessary infrastructure by the private sector.
  4. Review the Ninth Street plans and develop a proposal to complete the road infrastructure and determine ability to add creative and artistic elements.
  5. Develop a city facilities master plan and comprehensive facility maintenance plan.
  6. Develop a plan to implement priority-based budgeting.
  7. Develop and communicate the city’s long-term financial strategy.
  8. Develop a master plan for downtown that includes desirable assets, infrastructure and uses.

These initiatives are projects that the City will focus on over the next few years. This does not mean that the City will cease work on current projects; the initiatives will be in addition to current projects.

During the 2017 budget process six (6) general goal areas were identified. Those goals are encompassed in the seven (7) critical success factors.
The strategic plan is meant to be used as a short-term (2 year) plan with specific initiatives that help move the City towards achieving the vision for Lawrence. The comprehensive plan is a long-range planning tool that identifies the community’s goals for directing future land use decisions.
Yes, the strategic plan will be used as a guidepost when making operational and budget decisions.
Yes, the strategic plan will be revisited after the next City Commission election. It will then be revisited every two years after the City Commission election.